The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Europe: ‘Crisis? What Crisis?’

Posted on | November 16, 2010 | 2 Comments

Following up on yesterday’s post about the economic crisis in Europe, let’s mention that Italy is also in trouble. Berlusconi’s government is falling apart and the guy who wants to replace him, Gianfranco Fini, is described as “a younger, charismatic right-wing leader” and a “former neo-Fascist.” That’s reassuring, huh?

Also reassuring is when Irish government officials feel the need to tell bank depositors that there’s nothing to worry about:

The Central Bank, economists and financial advisers all insisted that depositors’ savings would be safe if the country was forced to sign up for an international bailout.
Central Bank officials stressed that the State’s €100,000 guarantee for depositors has since become part of European law, which means the guarantee is now underpinned by the European Union.

Everything’s perfectly safe, as long as the EU itself doesn’t come crumbling down in the crash. And that could never happen, right?

Whenever things are about to go completely to hell, officials always go into Chip Dillard mode: “Remain calm. All is well.” So I’m not really persuaded by official happy talk, when the data looks bad and other people are bluntly saying that the bottom is falling out.

The euro fell to a 7-week low against the dollar in Asian trading overnight, as reported in a Wall Street Journal story that quoted a Japanese banker: “Speculation is mounting that Greece can’t avoid default.” And here’s Bloomberg TV with an analyst saying flatly that Ireland is going bankrupt:


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